As I have gotten older, my self-esteem has gotten really low. It’s so difficult for me to look back at my life and the choices I made without feeling like a disappointment. I can’t help but compare myself to women my age who have never been divorced, live in beautiful houses, and don’t have to worry about money.
I had to stop going on Facebook, because it was a constant reminder of all of things that I am not. Not pretty enough, not happy enough, not wealthy enough. I am the only person in my family who has been divorced and is in debt. I would stare at my brother’s pictures of him and his beautiful family skiing in Colorado or relaxing in Hawaii.
Constantly comparing myself to others only contributed to my depression and negative view of myself. I had to stop doing that to myself, or there is no chance I could appreciate myself and my life. I started implementing some thought stopping and worked on increasing my self esteem. I found that looking at things differently was helpful in stopping me from comparing myself to others.
Remember That You are Not Them
Comparing yourself to others means you compare what you see in others to what you know about yourself. Things always look better from the outside than they do from the inside. Most of us at one point or another are guilty of putting up a good front, making ourselves look better to the world than we feel inside. You have no real idea about how other people feel about themselves. Reminding yourself of this fact helps put things into perspective. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
You are Unique
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. We are all special in unique ways. By comparing yourself to others, you are not acknowledging your strengths. If you are unable to identify your strengths, you can take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths by The University of Pennsylvania. https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/ I took the Brief Strengths Test and found out that my top three strength’s are:
- Learning (love of learning)
Knowing that I am strong in these areas makes me feel better about the person that I am.
It’s a Waste of Time
Comparing yourself to others takes time. I don’t have enough time in the day to the things that I love, so why waste it comparing myself to others. It would be a much greater use of time to take action on making improvements in the areas of my life that I struggle with.
Life Isn’t Graded on a Curve
What others have done makes no difference in what you have, can and will achieve. Your goal is not to be the best at everything, but simply to be the best you can be.
Comparison Puts Focus on the Wrong Person
When you compare yourself to others, you put the focus on them. What they have done and what they have achieved. It stops you from valuing your own achievements. You have no control over others, all you can control is you. And the only person you should be comparing yourself to is who were previously. If you are making improvements in your own life, that is all that matters.
Remember all of the wonderful things that make you….well, you!